Canadian Medical Association (CMA) Foundation Support for Medical Learners Bursary

McGill Postgraduate Medical Education (PGME) is pleased to announce that the CMA Foundation has donated a major bursary to PGME: The CMA Foundation Support for Medical Learners Bursary. 

Originally established in April 2020 through a gift from the CMA Foundation, the CMA Foundation Support for Medical Learners Bursary was created to support residents with demonstrated financial need at McGill University. Administered by the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences at McGill University.

These funds cover extra costs incurred by residents due to the COVID-19 pandemic and for residents with demonstrated financial needs – non-COVID related. We have distributed more than three-quarters of the bursary.

The remaining funds will continue to cover pandemic-related costs and/or resident financial needs incurred during the two following periods:


Residents who started training this academic year can now submit their requests for expenses incurred since July 1, 2022.

May 1, 2022-June 30, 2022

Costs incurred after May 1, 2022, of the 2021/2022 academic year can still be submitted.

The CMA Foundation Bursary submission deadline is November 2, 2022.

Eligible expenses include:

  • New Eligibility Criteria: Cost Incurred Due to Impact of the Pandemic On Training
    • Electives
      • Residents seeking electives to increase exposure to specific techniques, cases, or other factors and are doing so because of the effects of the pandemic can now apply for the bursary.
        • Residents applying for electives as of February 14, 2022, and later must include a letter from their PD confirming that the need for the elective is due to decreased exposure resulting from the pandemic.
        • If the program director confirms in writing that the elective is intended to increase resident exposure, then that resident is eligible for up to $1000.00 toward costs incurred for their elective.
    • Training prolongation
      • Residents eligible for training prolongation and request prolongation due to the pandemic can now also apply to the bursary.
        • Residents applying for training prolongation must include a letter from their program director confirming the need for training prolongation due to decreased exposure resulting from the pandemic.
        • If the program director confirms in writing that the training prolongation is intended to increase resident exposure, then that resident is eligible for up to $1000.00 toward costs incurred for their elective.
    • Costs covered for elective and training prolongation
      • The funds can go toward travel, housing, or other fees such as licensing, parking, etc. The bursary is distributed on a first-come, first-served basis. Residents are eligible for only one bursary (i.e., a one-time sum up to $1000.00).
  • Rent and living expenses - temporary extra or unexpected rental or living costs experienced as a direct result of the pandemic, this includes expenses related to fulfil quarantine requirements

  • Tuition, advanced training, and school supplies (e.g. supplies, equipment) – extra fees incurred as a direct consequence of the pandemic

  • Mental health counselling – due to the impact of the pandemic (indicate costs covered by private insurance and submit the Insurance Declaration Form completed and signed. In addition, please include your Benefit Eligibility.)

  • Other (please specify in the CMA Foundation Bursary Application Form if you are submitting an expense for this category and how it is an extra expense due to the pandemic: An example would be costs associated with a COVID-19 pre-travel test for residents arriving from outside of Canada.)

Examples of costs not covered by the CMA Foundation bursary:

  • Lost income (learners requesting direct income loss support should apply for government assistance, e.g., CERB, as applicable)
  • Missed loan payments (or payments in arrears)
  • Discretionary expenses
  • Other nonessential personal expenses unrelated to COVID-19

The CMA Foundation Bursary submission deadline is November 2, 2022.

PGME will assess the quality and pertinence of each submission.

Submitted expenses will be reviewed in a continuous fashion until funds are exhausted. A maximum amount will be allotted to each resident to ensure equity and fairness.

Bursary application process for residents:

To apply for the bursary you must:

  1. Complete the CMA Foundation Bursary Application Form
  2. Complete the Student Stipend Payment Authorization Form (name, signature, and date only)
  3. A letter from your PD if requesting funding for an elective or training prolongation (NEW CRITERIA)
  4. An Insurance Declaration Form completed and signed if requesting funding for mental health counselling
  5. Send a single PDF to your Program Administrator containing:
    • The two forms indicated in points 1 and 2
    • Letter indicated in point 3 only if this request is for an elective or training prolongation
    • Insurance Declaration Form only if this request is for mental health counselling
    • All receipts and proof of payment for the expense(s) you are submitting

If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact your program administrator.

Bursary submission process for program administrators:

To complete the bursary application process you (program administrators) must:

  1. Verify receipts and proof of payment
  2. Attach the PDF (Last name_ first name _program) you receive from your resident to the MS Form link below
  3. Enter the relevant information on your resident’s CMA Foundation Bursary Form into the MS Form and submit

PGME COVID Relief Initiative (CRI)

Until recently, redeployment of residents to COVID-19 and Intensive Care Units was urgently needed and supported by residents and program directors. PGME framed it in a way that was compatible with ongoing training in the context of decreased activity in our hospitals. Now that number of COVID-19 patients in our hospitals is has declined, we have not redeployed any residents since June 13, 2021.

Nevertheless, it is becoming clear that COVID will not disappear completely anytime soon and will fall into the category of illnesses that continue to show up in our hospitals.

Moving forward, and as the situation continues to improve, our redeployment team will be scheduling backup residents for the next three periods, ending September 26, 2021. Residents must continue to follow the redeployment process in place (see below).

Until the end of the redeployment initiative (September 26), we will try to have two residents on this backup list every week: ideally, one who can work in ICU (depending on availability) and one who can help on COVID units. After that, barring a major catastrophe requiring the mobilization of our healthcare system, such as we witnessed 15 months ago, redeployment of residents as managed by PGME will cease.

The next three periods will be an opportunity for the hospitals and care units who would naturally be involved with the care of flu patients to reorganize themselves and come up with a long-term vision of COVID care.

Residents and program directors are aware that COVID care will be needed in our hospitals; however, our centralized resident redeployment initiative has outlived its need and a new chronic phase of care delivery for patients with COVID will be required.

The CRI and PGME would like to thank everyone engaged in this massive effort to ensure patient care in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Residents, Administrators, Program Directors, Service Chiefs, Faculty, Departmental Chiefs, and Chairs – thank you!

For more details, please consult the Weekly CRI Update.

For a general overview of PGME COVID RELIEF MEASURES, please click here.


If you have been redeployed, please answer the survey which has been sent to you via the weekly CRI Newsletter. Your feedback will help PGME improve our redeployment process, as explained below.

PMGE’s COVID Relief Initiative structure

  • It is compulsory.
  • A resident who refuses redeployment will be placed on unauthorized leave of absence.
  • Redeployments are full time (five to seven workdays based on a seven-day workweek)
  • If the number of workdays goes beyond five, the extra days will be considered call.
  • The maximum number of calls per period, as per the Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec (FMRQ) contract, must be respected (and therefore coordinated with the resident’s regular rotation).
  • Redeployed residents are released from the call obligations of their scheduled rotation during the period of redeployment.
  • This will require close collaboration between PGME and hospital leadership to avoid undue pressure for service coverage.
  • Redeployment schedules will be planned with enough advance notice to allow for call schedule reorganization.
  • Redeployment will include a mix of daytime, evening, and night shifts.
  • The duration of shifts will be between eight and twelve hours, in accordance with the FMRQ contract.

COVID-19 Testing

Residents are prioritized at COVID-19 testing clinics. Residents must show their hospital ID and have a RAMQ health insurance card ready. Non-RAMQ residents must provide their date of birth with their hospital ID.

MUHC: Call Occupational Health: 514-934-1934 ext. 44FLU (44358). Drive through testing is available at the Royal Victoria Hospital parking garage from 9:30 a.m. - 10:00a.m. for health care workers only, and then from 10:00 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. (7 days a week). For more information please visit the following link. Testing is also available at the Montreal General Hospital, room E6.181.
JGH: Call Health, Safety, and Wellbeing in the Workplace: 514-731-7343 from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (7 days a week). Residents who are connected to the Jewish General Hospital's Intranet can also visit for COVID-19 testing information.

Redeployments: Key Points

PGME and our COVID relief coordinators will continue to provide weekly updates of resident availability and hospital need even in the absence of redeployment

PGY1 residents cannot be first call without in-house senior supervision as per article 12.08 of the Fédération des médecins résidents du Québec (FMRQ) contract:

When call duty is performed in an establishment, the resident, in the six (6) months following the start of his residency, shall be able to count at all times on the presence, on-site, of a physician who is a member of the Council of Physicians, Dentists and Pharmacists or of a resident other than a Resident 1.

Residents should be freed for their academic half-days during their COVID relief assignments.

Remember to ensure that your redeployment is evaluated. To do so, please log on to one45, then, send an assessment form to the faculty who supervised you during your redeployment.

If you have any concerns regarding your work/learning environment, please discuss with your supervisor, the unit’s service chief, or the COVID Relief Initiative Coordinator.


Please confirm any leaves with your program office as early as possible as per FMRQ deadlines:

  • Vacation: requests should be submitted no less than 60 days prior to start of leave
  • Conference: requests should be submitted no less than 30 days prior to start of leave
  • Study: requests should be submitted no less than 30 days prior to start of leave

CRI counts towards resident rotation

COVID relief can be considered part of the total time of a resident’s rotation and not counted as time away from their rotation. However, program directors in consultation with the resident’s competency committees and host rotation directors must ensure that a resident’s learning experience is meaningful.

  • Consider the following scenario: If a resident is in a one-period rotation of four weeks, takes a week off and is assigned a week of COVID relief, that leaves two weeks for the rotation.
  • Perhaps residents in the situation above should not be redeployed during that period and redeployed at a later time.
  • COVID relief initiative assignments are considered part of the resident’s rotation; as such, absences must be documented, and the 75% rule of attendance must be respected.
  • Participation is compulsory. A resident who refuses redeployment will be placed on unauthorized leave of absence.

CRI: Availability

  • Your program director will confirm your COVID relief initiative assignment with you before sending it to the COVID Relief Initiative Coordinator. You must confirm your availability.
  • Please inform your rotation director that you have been made available for the COVID Relief Initiative assignment and ensure that you are not on the call schedule during the week(s) that has been assigned to you, whether your redeployment has been confirmed or not. You might not be redeployed at the start of the week, but there is a surge of patients in our hospitals, you could be redeployed mid-week.
  • Even if you are available, it does not mean that you will be redeployed: It is important to note that residents who are made available during any given week for COVID relief should be freed from call obligations. However, they might not be redeployed the following week and, as such, unless confirmed for COVID relief by COVID service chiefs, are expected in their usual rotation to continue fulfilling their expected training requirements.

Important Links

Frontline health care providers such as residents, nurses, faculty, and orderlies are starting to show signs of fatigue. Please visit the WELL Office website for helpful resources.

For more information on PGME’s response to COVID-19, please click here.

For information on how to contact Occupational Health, please click here.

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